Sunday, October 7, 2018

What makes these two teas different?

Why farmers in Taiwan know the difference very well, but they still classify both teas as Black Tea ?
In this study -
Same cultivar: Chinsing Oolong
Same maker in ShanLinSi

Compare carefully... on the dry leaves’ color and appearance, liquids’ color, and examine wet leaves, before tasting the teas...

On the left, a genuine Taiwan Black, summer crop. Fully oxidized and well dried.
On the right, Formosa Bonita: FB 74, spring crop. Extra highly oxidized Oolong, pan-fired, also lightly baked.

Both have pleasant flavor, but apparently not the same presence.
FB 74 has the ripe pear sweetness and can smell much floral aroma in cup. Complexity is a good finding. While the left one, shows a bit astringent with malto sweetness. Very mild and easy to enjoy.

Enjoy the opportunity to have a comparison Cupping and Tasting these two samples.  Again, based on Oolong-Sense, we will agree that tea should be classified by the process . While many farmers in Taiwan will market their teas as Black Tea, as there is no such kind of Oolong process ever existed in the past. 

Formosa Bonita happens serendipitously, after the big quake that hit Taiwan in 9/21/1999... a story that I always enjoy sharing it during our TOST trip...  Only when you visit there and check the facility on sites you will then understand why so many farmers actually have modified the traditional Black tea process and making a New Oolong by taking what their equipment and space available and adjust the craftsmanship.  I regard this new Taiwan Oolong as another Taiwan Treasure, over the years, we have debated for the proper name for it.  Finally, we got inspired from Oriental Beauty, another Oolong that hit by the Green Leaf Hoppers and our farmers serendipitously make it as the most unique Oolong out of Taiwan.  Formosa Bonita, that is it!

With the craftsmanship more matured on Formosa Bonita.  Our farmers have presented with us more surprises... as various Cultivars in the similar process could actually bring out each Cultivar's special characteristic aroma and flavor...  FB-27, FB-47, FB-74, FB-78....

More to follow!


Thursday, October 4, 2018

What is Red Oolong ?

A customer of ours sent in two samples with almost identical labels.
 ‘Red Oolong’ confused and bothered her.

I don’t refuse such a ‘treat’ to test taste two fine teas.

For farmers in Taiwan, Red means higher oxidation. But how much higher ? How to compare and what to compare ... that will be very critical.

Apparently these are extremely fine Oolongs. Both are Chinsing Oolong cultivar, according to labels, the left one is from Lishan and the right one is from ShanLinSi.
We need to do a comparison Cupping and find the FACTs.

(Wow... both are excellent teas !)

But, the color and appearance of dry leaf already could be easily identified the difference.
After (3g, 210F, 6min ) infusion - aroma and color in bowls apparently present very different. The flavors are also very much apart from each other.

The one on the left is Quei-Fei Oolong, or Paoli Tung-Ting.
The one on the right is Taitung Oolong. (aka. Cognac Oolong)
In Taiwanese, farmers meant to classify their teas as:
紅水烏龍 / 紅烏龍 (L/R)
When translated... both became ‘Red Oolong’. Confusion then initiated.

Who’s fault?

‘Oolong-Sense’ is for tea professionals to clear all these non-sense.